Lending Club Blog

The Market for Stolen Personal Information is Thriving

Having personal information stolen is only the first step in a process that ultimately leads to a loss. Increasingly, thieves are not using data directly but rather turning a faster profit by aggregating data and reselling it on the thriving black market for such information.

Newsweek recently reported on this market and its alarming growth rates. Perhaps most surprising were the low prices offered for stolen data. As more and more data finds its way to the various online marketplaces, the surplus drives prices down. Bank information was reported to cost between 5 and 10 percent of the account’s value – so details about an account containing $50,000 might sell for $2,500. Detailed credit card information sells for about $45 per account.

Lower prices for stolen data may actually be a good thing for informed consumers. With so much information available, for so little money, thieves may be less interested in obtaining data that is well protected. Those people who do a reasonable job of protecting their personal information may be passed over by thieves who can profit more quickly by stealing from less savvy marks. Of course, those with large accounts may still find themselves worthy of a thief’s efforts as a result of the higher potential payout.

The Newsweek article also discussed how thieves are becoming more specialized and selling their portion of services online. Someone good at accessing accounts may partner with someone else skilled at laundering money. This trend towards specialization works well in legitimate businesses, so it should come as no surprise that criminals are exploiting it as well.

More transactions from theft to loss also raise the possibility of the theft being detected. If just one link in the chain is discovered, you could likely take additional precautions to secure your accounts.

Theft of personal information continues to be a profitable business. Increased efficiency and specialization have matured the process to the point where many legitimate businesses could probably learn some valuable lessons from the criminal enterprise. All of the precautions in the world will not prevent a determined thief from obtaining your data, but awareness and appropriate precautions help to limit your likelihood of becoming a personal information theft victim.

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009 at 5:40 am

Comments (0)

  • Archives z

Recent Posts

We went public today!

Ringing the bell this morning at the New York… Read More »
December 11, 2014

New and Improved Statistics Page

We recently redesigned our Loan Statistics page to make… Read More »
November 13, 2014

Lending Club Honored with Economist Innovation Award

This month I was honored… Read More »
October 15, 2014

Finding the right company culture for you

How important is company culture to you? At Lending… Read More »
September 30, 2014

Welcome Vermont Investors!

Today, we’re thrilled to welcome residents of the state… Read More »
September 4, 2014

We filed to go public today

We filed a registration statement with the SEC today… Read More »
August 27, 2014

Our Billion Dollar Quarter

We’re excited to announce  that we’ve facilitated over $5… Read More »
July 8, 2014

Is Lending Club Available in My State?

Is Lending Club available in my state? That is… Read More »
July 7, 2014

5 Things Everyone Should Do Before a First Interview

After spending hours drafting your… Read More »
June 24, 2014

Lending Club Joins Senator Cory Booker to Discuss Improving Access to Capital for Small Businesses

Read More »
June 20, 2014